Prayer-School: Real Life or Spiritual Warfare??

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Real Life or Spiritual Warfare?? (Teresa Seputis)

Originally from: "Teresa Seputis" (
Originally dated: 17 Mar 1998 14:51:21 -0800

Sometimes intercessors can get a bit confused between what is spiritual warfare and what is just simply "day to day" life. I believe it is important for us to be able to discern the difference if we desire to pray effectively... we must not automatically assume that everything unpleasant is spiritual warfare.

In day to day life, we are going to have our ups and downs. There will be times that things go well for us and times that they do not go so well. For instance yesterday I had a very hard day... one of my friends got upset about something and took it out on me by attacking me in front of some other friends. It was decidedly no fun for me and it hurt because I thought she was a trusted friend... and she did something to me that did not feel very trustworthy or friendly. I could have taken her apart right there in the presense of the people she embarassed me in front of; but that would not have been a very loving thing to do. She was really upset about something and took it out on me... if I fought back, she would have simply gotten more upset. I guess I happened to cross her path at percisely the wrong time. I am sure that today or tomorrow she will call me and apologize... All the same, it was a very unpleasant experience for me and it pretty much ruined my evening.

Was that spiritual warfare? No, I don't think so. I think that was just "real life". Real life has it's ups and downs. There are times that unpleasant things happen to us. There are times when we fight with our hubbies, where kids get rebellous, where we are misunderstood, where we get sick, where we get treated unfairly by an employer, etc. This is everyday life stuff that happens to everyone. It is a part of life. I don't think we should blame everything that goes wrong or is unpleasant on spiritual warfare.

There have also been times of intense spiritual warfare. The most graphic illustration from my own life came in June of 1994. I was the prayer coordinator for Santa Clara Valley March for Jesus. It was a very big event and God did a lot of powerful things. About 8 thousand people came out to participate.. several people shared there faith and alot of folks got saved.. powerful prayers were going out for the community, churches were laying aside denominational differences and joining together in unity.. it was incredible. God came in power and the enemy suffered a serious defeat. A counter attack came at the organizers and coordinators of the event.. Martin and Barbara Bridges... As an intercessor, I saw (in the spirit) the attack coming and stepped in to interceed. I guess I ended up becoming the target. Within a 72 hour period, a series of castophries happened to me... I got food poisoning from a vendor's hotdog and ended up in the hospital. Got home and the next day my wedding ring was stolen. I went to work the next day and was laid off.. I had another job lined up (the other company had already hired me) and somehow that fell through on the same day I was laid off and I was jobless twice in the same day. I went home from being laid off to slice some meat... the knife slipped and cut my thumb, sevoring the tendon and blood was squirting everywhere. I was rushed to the hospital where I had to have an emergency surgery to save the thumb and then be schedued for another surgery a few days later.

That was intense spiritual warfare -- the most intense I have ever encountered in my whole life. I do understand that spiritual counter attacks come.. I've experienced them personally. Usualy they happen during or immediately after some sort of major spiritual confrontation/event.. such as the March for Jesus... typically counter attacks can happen anywhere up to two weeks after an significant event or interncession... When we are under intense counter-attack we need the support/intercession of other prayer warriors who will stand in the gap for us... in fact, without this type of support I might very well have died during those 72 hours immediately following the June 1994 March for Jesus.

But that does not mean that every time something bad happens to us it is a counter attack. Quite to the contrary, Jesus said that life will have trials and tribulations. He encourages so to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world and so have we (through Him).

I have noticed that it has become popular lately among intercessors to call it a spiritual attack every time something goes poorly in our lives. But sometimes what we are calling an attack is merely day to day life. And sometimes it is the hand of God refining us. There are times when He purposely allows hardship or adversity into our lives to refine us, to work His character in us. There was a prophecy that came out once which had a short section I'd like to quote here:

Do not run away from Me when the pressure comes... instead run to Me. Do not assume it is always the enemy's hand against you... come to Me and ask Me what is going on here. Ask if this is My hand and how I would have you respond to it. If it is an attack of the enemy, I promise to tell you and to show you how to rise up and fight and overcome him in My stength. But if it is My Spirit working a deep work in you, you must not resist ... the longer you resist Me, the longer your affliction will go on.

The main reason I am writing this post is to share my concerns that we learn to discern real spiritual warfare attacks from God's hand of refinement from everyday life ups-and-downs. If we are not careful to keep things in prospective and if we give the enemy "glory" for everything that happens in our lives, we will eventually be subsceptable to an attitude (or orientation) of fear and intimidation. We want to keep our focus on God and on moving with Him. We also want to have the ability to perceive when He is doing a refining work in our lives and be able to cooperate with Him instead of being busy fighting the devil (especailly when it is not the devil we're actually fighting).

I don't know if I've expressed this very well.. if not, please forgive me.

But I urge you to seek God in each situation -- instead of assuming it is spiritual warfare, go to Him and ask Him what is going on and how He would have you respond. Then everything that happens to you will drive you closer to Him and center you more on Him and on His will for you.


- teresa

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